Biochemistry professor and Morgridge Institute for Research investigator Elizabeth Wright has been selected as a 2023-2024 Vilas Associate, awarded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. The Vilas Associates award recognizes “new and ongoing research of the highest quality and significance.”
Wright’s research lab develops cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), cryo-electron tomography, and correlative imaging technologies. Group members explore a range of topics in bacteriology, cell biology, and virology, including bacterial motility and adherence, human cell regulatory function and dysfunction, and virus entry and assembly. In addition to her research lab, Wright directs the UW–Madison Cryo-Electron Microscopy Research Center and the NIH-funded Midwest Center for Cryo-Electron Tomography.
As a Vilas Associate, Wright’s research will focus on developing cryo-EM imaging and data analysis technologies that will be used to explore enveloped virus infection, replication, and assembly in situ.
“Our cryo-EM and correlative imaging technology developments will transform how we investigate complex viral, cellular, and tissue-level systems, and our work on respiratory syncytial virus [RSV] and human metapneumovirus [HMPV] will provide structural foundations for understanding processes associated with virus assembly and infection to support drug discovery avenues," says Wright.
Recipients of the Vilas Associates award receive summer research salary support and flexible research funds over the two years of the award. Winners are chosen competitively by the Divisional Research Committees of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.
Congratulations, Professor Wright!